Fox News guest apologizes for insensitive "cotton-picking" remark against black Democratic strategist
Fox News distanced itself from the racist remark and meanwhile, David Bossie apologized for using the offensive phrase in the heat of the moment on television.
A Fox News guest who is a fervent Trump supporter told a black Democratic Party strategist he was "out of his cotton-picking mind" during a heated argument in one of the channel's segments. The white, pro-Trump panelist has now apologized for his insensitive words. On Sunday, the host of Fox and Friends, Ed Henry, invited two guests to debate the Trump administration's policies towards undocumented immigrants and the backlash it received for the reported 'separation of families' who crossed the border illegally, reported CNN.
Joel Payne, a frequent guest on Fox News who serves as a strategist for the Democratic party, and David Bossie, a former deputy campaign manager for Trump, were invited to the show for a dialogue. Accusations against those comparing Trump to Adolf Hitler and his supporters to Nazis led to the debate getting strained and comments turning personal.
On Sunday, Bossie backed down and issued a public apology on Twitter. "During a heated segment on Fox & Friends today, I should have chosen my words more carefully and never used the offensive phrase that I did," Bossie tweeted.
Fox released a statement saying: "David Bossie’s comments today were deeply offensive and wholly inappropriate. His remarks do not reflect the sentiments of FOX News and we do not in any way condone them."
During a subsequent interview with MSNBC, Payne said that he accepted the apology extended by Bossie, but remarked that his thoughtless words have "frustrated" minorities. "My namesake is my great-grandfather, who was a sharecropper," he said. "I took that very personally."
"Our family and people like us have worked very hard to come up over the years. And so, to have someone kind of reduce our experience and try to make light of that experience — which I imagine Mr. Bossie was doing — that was offensive and that was unacceptable to me," Payne said.
Here's how the debate ended up getting controversial. "You guys, you, the Democratic party are so angry and hate-filled towards the border patrol agents, towards police officers, towards I.C.E. Agents," Bossie had said. "You know what? It is - we're done with this," he continued. "The American people recognize what the Democrat party has become. They've become Robert De Niro and Peter Fonda, and they've become nothing more than angry and hate filled. "They hate this president more than they love this country, and it's dangerous."
De Niro, has been unabashedly crude in his remarks against the president and his administration, attacking the president in an expletive-ridden diatribe during his speech at the Tony Awards held recently when he uttered two words, "F*** Trump", and received a standing ovation for it from liberal Hollywood.
The network which aired the ceremony, CBS, had to bleep out the boorish slur.
Earlier this week, actor Peter Fonda, the brother of Jane Fonda, extended an apology for suggesting that Barron Trump, the president's 12-year-old son, should be "ripped from his mother's arms and put in a cage with pedophiles."
However, Payne hit back at Bossie by accusing the president and his supporters of hurting racial sentiments and invoking tensions. "You don't have to be a golden retriever to hear all the dog whistles coming out of the White House these days and from my friend David here," Payne said.
To which, Bossie responded by bringing up a controversial tweet by the former head of the National Security Agency, General Michael Hayden. As the mainstream media flooded the internet and our television screens last week with images of children 'separated' from their parents at the border, General Hayden tweeted, "Other governments have separated mothers and children."
The picture attached to the Twitter post showed the entrance to the concentration camp in Auschwitz-Birkenau, Poland, where it is said that over 1 million people were gassed or slaughtered by the Nazis, with the majority being Jews.
As Bossie used Hayden's tweet to paint a picture of the current climate in the opposition, Payne said that Hayden was not a true liberal. "You're out of your cotton-picking mind," Bossie told Payne, who was taken aback by his words.
"Cotton-picking mind?" he asked in disbelief. "Brother, let me tell you something, I got some relatives who picked cotton and I'm not going to sit back and let you attack me on TV like that. "Attack you how? You're out of your mind," Bossie said. "This is ridiculous, this is what's gone on in America. This is what we're about."
The show's host Henry returned to air and immediately distanced himself and Fox News from Bossie's inconsiderate comments right after the segment. Henry said: “I just want to address what happened in that debate, obviously got fiery, David Bossie used a phrase that clearly offended Joel Payne and offended many others. I don’t know what David meant by it.
“You know, what went back and forth between the two of them. I’ve known David a long time. I’ll let him address exactly what he said. But I want to make sure that Fox News and this show, myself, we don’t agree with that particular phrase. It was obviously offensive and these debates get fiery, that’s unfortunate. We like to have honest and spirited debates, but not phrases like that, obviously. And so I will just leave it at that."
Naturally, the episode blew up on everybody's timelines with people criticizing Bossie for his choice of words, eventually leading him to apologize for the same.